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OHHS welcomes foreign exchange student Francesco Bernardelli

OHHS welcomes foreign exchange student Francesco Bernardelli

Christina Wicker for The Breeze

Christina Wicker for The Breeze

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Among the foreign exchange students attending OHHS this year, one is senior Francesco Bernardelli, who comes from Bressanone, Italy. He decided to come because he thinks being a foreign exchange student is cool, although he admits that he occasionally gets confused with the English language.“I had to learn the language and stuff like that,” said Bernardelli, “It was really difficult, but now I’m better.”

Bernardelli has already made friends here in Oak Harbor. Junior Carlie Kenny, says that she also likes foreign exchange programs because they provide interaction between Americans and other students that they would otherwise not meet.

“I think the exchange program is awesome because it brings champions like Francesco to small-town Oak Harbor,” said Kenny, “It lets the exchange students get a better understanding of the English language and American culture and lets students here get more interaction from students around the globe.”

Bernardelli is currently taking Pre-Calculus, AP Chemistry, Physics, Video Productions, and American Literature. He is also involved in cross-country, and overall says that he is enjoying it here at OHHS.

“It [OHHS] is really cool,” said Bernardelli, “I like it here. I like America in general.”

One thing that Bernardelli has been surprised by, is to find that some of the stereotypes he had associated with America haven’t really held.

“A lot ideas I had about America before I came here are not true,” said Bernardelli, “Like that of there being one guy who’s popular and the other guys are weird. That doesn’t exist here.”

Kenny feels that Francesco has given her a better understanding of people who live thousands of miles away.

“The more I hang out with the European exchange students the more I understand the mindset and the different values of Europeans vs. Americans,” said Kenny.

Like the rest of the exchange students, Bernardelli has gained several friends at OHHS.

“He is just a bit more relaxed than most Americans. He’s pretty cool and just fun to hang out with.”

Like all foreign exchange students, Bernardelli will spend the remainder of his senior year at OHHS.

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